The four-month long Haridwar Mahakumbh Mela is posing to be a marketer's haven as several brands have taken the opportunity to engage with a wide gamut of floating audience. The Mela commenced this year on January 14 and will go on until April 28. Impact communications have the sole right acquired to market the event to the 26 brands which are making their presence felt in the religious event. About five crore people are expected to attend during the entire period of the Mela.
Commenting on this growth and noticeable changes in trends among the brands marketing at the Mela, Sanjay Kaul, CEO, Impact Communications, said, "Initially, brands followed conventional marketing techniques that included hoardings, setting up of stalls, banners and posters. Over the years, brands have realised that conventional marketing causes a lot of clutter. Thus, in the past few years, there has been a major shift and brands have initiated several innovative marketing strategies to engage people one-on-one and provide a brand experience. The idea for many brands now is not to wait for consumers to come to their stall but reach to them wherever they are. For example, when we started out, we marketed the event to Dabur and they used the Mela as a platform to only promote their Dabur Lal Dantmanjan. Over the years, realising the potential of the event, Dabur now promotes almost all their brands in the Kumbh Mela."
This year, the Mahakumbh Haridwar is a marketplace for 26 brands, of which seven are new entrants. Brands from diverse sectors like FMCG, telecom, agriculture and construction are conducting activations at the Mela.
Dabur is making use of varied media to build the connect with its target audience. With nine welcome gates at the Kumbh Mela, Dabur is visible at all approach roads of the Mela. The brand is conducting stall-based activities for its oral care division which comprises Babool and Lal Dantmanjan, wherein they will be hosting puppet shows. The hair care division of Dabur which comprises Amla Oil and Total Protect is giving hair wash and head massage at stalls to visitors. Mosquito repellent cream Odomos is being distributed as free samples. A customised Dabur van broadcasts the brand TVC which showcases all Dabur brands participating in the Mela and is constantly on the move in the Mela area offering Dabur products on discounted price.
Henkel has organised on-ground activities to promote its brands like Margo, Check and Henko. The jump boys on bathing dates in the Mela reach to various areas of the Mela to offer free samples near lodges and akharas to people.
In order to strengthen the recall for the brand, HUL Brand Taaza has opted for all visibility with 100 signages and 10 product inflatables at the event. ITC products such as Sunfeast and Superia Soap have opted for static visibility media. Both brands are being promoted through rotaries, signages and traffic barricade branding.
Reckitt Benckiser's product Dettol is also being promoted through signages, presence at the Mela gates and inflatables. Mosquito repellent coil Mortein has opted for extensive visibility and trail generation with signages, brand presence at the gates, inflatables and stalls for playing the TVC. Another major mosquito repellent brand All Out is having its vans run across the Mela area showing its TVC, with an objective of creating awareness coupled with product trails.
Perfetti's Alpenliebe is focussing on trail generation through jump boys and brand engaging activity in stalls with their brand mascot - a huge crocodile - to attract kids and adults.
Telecom players like Idea, Vodafone, Nokia and Uninor are also engaging consumers in several activities. Nokia is promoting its camera phones through click-and-print experience, thus giving rural audiences a taste of live tools that a mobile phone can offer. New entrant Uninor has opted for visibility through hot air balloons and presence at the welcome gates.
Other brands which are trying to cash on the hype and stature of the Mela are Tide, Gillette, Anchor, Ultratech Cement, Kirlosker Pumps, Kodak and Texmo.